Friday, March 06, 2009

On A Completely Different Note

Once upon a time, if you wanted to pick someone up at the airport, you used to be able to meet people at their gate as they got off the plane. I used to love that. I loved the anticipation of watching streams of people come out of a jetway and watching the face of one person in that crowd light up when they saw me. I loved being met, too, and I would always feel a twinge of sadness anytime I got off a plane unmet and had to walk past all those people hugging and kissing their loved ones. I would feel this way even if I was just changing planes and wasn’t even expecting anyone to greet me. It embarrassed me, but it would happen every time.

Now, of course, you have to have a boarding pass to be anywhere near a gate. I’ve gotten so used to the ritual of meeting people at baggage claim--or being swooped up in a touch-and-go curbside operation--that I don’t get wistful anymore walking through the airport by myself.

Just recently, though, Pipi happened to notice that they still have flight arrival information posted at airports. Why is this? No one meets people at gates anymore. You can only meet an arriving passenger if you have a boarding pass, meaning you’d have to be about to go somewhere. How often does that happen? Maybe more often than I think, but I’m pretty sure the posting of arrival information is just one of those quaint things, like no-smoking signs, left over from a bygone era of air travel.

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